Analyzing This Year’s Loudest and Proudest Houses

Mira Ponnambalam ’26 in Features | September 9, 2023

          House Olympics only comes once a year, so for III through V Formers, it is of the utmost importance to represent your House. The best way to do this? Decorating yourself from head to toe in house colors and screaming House chants as loudly as possible. Even III Formers and new students, who have only been part of their respective houses for a few days, go above and beyond to express their spirit. Anabel Guerreiro ’24, a Stephens prefect, said the key to making new students feel included is “leading by example, showing them that it’s fun as well as actively inviting them.” Each house has their own unique way of showing off their spirit. Some demonstrations of spirit are incredibly visible: the “Cleve Hulk” in full green body paint for one. The question is: which house really showed the best House spirit this year?

          A big part of house Olympics is looking good. Houses like Stephens and Kirby spend hours across several days decorating and cutting up their shirts. In muscle tees, crop tops, and shredded off-the-shoulder tops, it’s clear that Lawrenceville students are as fashion forward as ever during house olympics. Each house has their own unique shirt design, so it’s undeniable that some stood out more than others. “I liked what Woodhull was doing. They were really creative with how they cut up their shirts,” said Reed Cloninger ’25, a IV Former in Kennedy. Members of Stephens House, like Guerreiro, were huge fans of their own bleached shirts. Guerreiro even claimed that their “method of shirt creation is the most creative with the bleach.” Stephenites weren’t the only ones who loved the House’s shirts. Sophie Yang ’26, a III Former in Carter, expressed a similar appreciation for the creativity of the Stephens shirts.  “I always think Stephens’ shirts are pretty cool because of the whole bleached fabric thing,” added Sophia Earl ’25, a IV former in Kirby, placing the Stephens shirts second only to her own house. “We really put some effort in,” remarks Earl in reference to Kirby’s DIY tie-dye t-shirts . Guerreiro admitted that she too particularly enjoyed the Kirby tie-dye, as well as the blow-up red pepper suits worn by the House’s seniors “It caught me by surprise,” she expressed when recalling her reaction to the dozen pepper suits at House Olympics. The blue spray paint adorning the Kennedy shirts allowed them to stand out in comparison to neighboring Circle Houses. Earl also enjoyed McClellan’s light-purple shirts this year while Yang enjoyed the bright greens of Stanley’s clothing. 

          The House shirts were not the only way students demonstrated their pride. Students wore makeup, body paint, and accessories to highlight their outfits. “I saw a lot of people with really cool Carter makeup,” said Geurreiro. Many students also wore eye black and body paint correlating with their House’s colors. Houses like Cleve and Kirby went all out with members covering nearly their entire bodies in green and red, respectively. Others stuck to specific designs. “It’s fun. It’s creative. You gotta have people slap their hands on you [to make hand prints],” mentioned Yang, in reference to body paint. A member of Griswold even drew Batman on his chest as Griswold’s colors align with those of Batman. Many Lawrentians were found wearing accessories such as tutus, hats, or necklaces. Stanley in particular wore many bright big accessories. Members of Hamill wore bright blue masks and wigs. In Kirby, “girls were tying red cowbells to themselves,” mentioned Earl.

          After House Olympics, hoarse, worn out voices were evidence of commitment to the screaming, chanting, and loudness that show House pride. Guerriero heard McClellan, Stanley, and Cleve as the loudest this year. Loudness is such a vital component of House Olympics that one of the events was a demonstration of volume for points. Yang, for one, believed either Carter or Stanley to be the loudest. “Kirby’s seniors were really loud. I think Stephens and McC were really loud too,” mentioned Earl. Cloninger remarked how the only “close second [to his own house] would be McClellan. They just have that ‘Purple Pride.’” Alongside volume, each house must have catchy chants. Yang said that Carter’s chant was one of the best—“we have the creativity factor… It had a rhythm to it. It had a very specific beat. It was very catchy,” she described. She also expressed fondness for Dickinson’s “Dicky Time” chant: “It’s so out there, but at the same time it’s very catchy. It goes around in your head.” Cloninger felt similarly about the chant, calling it “unbeatable.”

          Hamill and Stanley’s accessories were vibrant and full of pride. Griswold, Cleve, and Carter went above and beyond with their body paint and makeup, displaying their dedication to their Houses. Stephens, Kirby, and Kennedy were undoubtedly creative with their shirts, which broadcasted their House spirit to the world. McClellan and Dickinson’s House pride was evident from their volume and chanting. Woodhull managed to show its house spirit with its dedication and skill in each event, winning the competition in the end. Despite all the House spirit demonstrated by other Houses, McClellan won the award for the most House spirit this year at convocation. This makes them ultimately the House with the most visible House spirit from this year.